Junk mail survey results

Earlier this month we took a survey on Facebook on real estate junk mail. Junk mail advertising is something we normally don’t do at Beach & Bay but we thought we should ask local residents if they wanted us to.

The survey results came in with a resounding NO! but there were some interesting comments emailed to us because the participants wanted to remain anonymous. These comments were interesting because they showed us that it is not as clear cut as ‘no’ to junk mail.

It seems that real estate junk mail is acceptable if it is clever and residents are not bombarded. One person went as far to say that real estate agents must think property owners are morons by the type of advertising they put in their letter box. Do you think we are going to fall for the line….

“We have 500 cashed up buyers who missed out on your neighbours property and want to buy yours!”

Oh dear, so it seems it is ‘no’ to junk mail that is boring and tacky and is delivered too often and ‘yes’ to smart advertising with a clear message and every so often!

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89 years young Real Estate Agent

Kylie came back from New York last month after attending the Inman Conference with a bundle of new ideas, info and a stack of real estate magazines! Reading through the Florida Realtor, we came across Frank Donahue and he’s inspired us all!

Introducing Frank, a World War II and Korean War veteran, Navy submariner, real estate sales associate and former Massachusetts broker. At the ripe old age of 89, Frank doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon – “He walks up four flights of steps and takes an hour jog around the Five Towns complex everyday” says his broker, Helene Szabries from Helene’s Realty Inc in St. Petersburg, admitting that even she takes the elevator!

Frank discovered his passion for real estate when he turned 50 and wanted a career that kept him close to home, unlike the Navy. Four decades later Frank reveals his secret to a long successful career – a positive attitude; “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of that”.

Once again proving what we all know – age is no barrier!

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Real Estate Junk Mail Survey

We want your opinion on real estate junk mail.

Should Beach & Bay advertise via junk mail or not?

I check my letterbox once per month, it’s covered in cobwebs. Very rarely is there real mail in there, but there is often a real estate agents face staring up at me.

We are not great fans of this form of marketing at Beach & Bay, and you certainly won’t see our faces on anything but are we missing out on selling your property because we are not doing letterbox directed mail outs?

Do you as a local resident read the real estate flyer and ring the agent or do you throw it in the bin?

Please vote on our survey on our I Love Cronulla Facebook wall or leave a comment here. We will do whatever you vote!

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The Year Ahead in Real Estate

I’ve just come back from a real estate conference in New York and this is the sale they are all talking about in Manhattan – an apartment at 15 Central Park West – which a Russian fertilizer billionaire named Dmitry Rybolovlev bought for $88mil for his 22year old daughter! They are saying he paid full price! It has shattered any previous New York record.

So amongst the doom and gloom we hear on the news all the time, there is a little bit of rosiness for you!

Locally, as the real estate market kicks into gear, we are all wondering what sort of year it is going to be.  Last year at this time, we had already had the Queensland floods and were about to experience the affects of the Christchurch earthquake quickly followed by the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  Understandably, everyone was very jittery.

The first auctions for our area are scheduled for Saturday 11th February so all eyes will be on these properties and before those auctions the Reserve Bank will meet next Tuesday, 7th February with all indications there might be an interest rate reduction.

However it turns out, Beach & Bay is looking forward to another year of assisting past clients and new clients in the smooth, stress-free sale or purchase of their property.



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Your Homes New Address: Individual Property Websites

There is no denying that we now live in a digital world.

I’m writing this on my Iphone while catching the train (I looked up the timetable on app Tripview). After finishing this blog I will browse online news and chat with my friend in Canada via skype (again, on my mobile). After the conversation (which costs me nothing), I may even update my Facebook status telling my wider network how much I miss this person! And this is all in the space of an hour!

As a Communications student, social media manager at Beach & Bay and…average Gen Y twenty-something, it still baffles me when I see some real estate agencies afraid to embrace online technology. The World Wide Web makes distance much smaller and client bases much larger. Having an online presence is completely changing the way we can now market and sell real estate, and if you ask us here at Beach & Bay, we think it’s wonderful! One example of a new form of technology is the individual property website. They make sense really; your home has a fixed physical address, so why shouldn’t it have an online one too? Now that almost everyone in the world is embracing Facebook (seriously, if Facebook was a country it would be the 3rd largest) and creating an online version of themselves, why then, shouldn’t your most valuable asset have its own landing page?

Individual property websites are fantastic tools for buyers and sellers alike. The links can be easily shared among friends and family and a wealth of information is provided to help decision makers assess if the property is right for them. Sure, a website may never replace seeing a property in the flesh and getting a “feel” for it sensually, but it’s the second best step! Also, there are other ways to re-create that emotional experience for the buyer – through videos, interactive floor plans and of course, good old fashioned real estate copy.

We currently have two waterfront properties which both have individual property websites. The listing prices are quite different and so the budget for marketing determined what kind of website we chose. showcases a breathtaking waterfront in Randell Avenue Lilli Pilli and so is more exclusive. With a username and password (U: view, P: waterfront), clients can enter the details and explore the architecturally designed property from the comfort of their own homes. The interactive floorplan allows people to navigate around the rooms, clicking on the arrows and seeing the room as if they were standing at that spot. The video combines gorgeous location shots with music and takes buyers on a journey around the house. We dare you to watch it and claim you wouldn’t want to live there! showcases 84 Loralyn Ave, St Georges Basin, which is a perfect holiday home or artists retreat for those within a smaller price range. This is a more basic website and includes the details, photos and a printable floorplan. Our agency is located over 2 hours away from this property but this is not a huge issue when you utilise the technology at hand! Sending this website to inter-state buyers who might want to buy an investment property is so easy!

If you have any questions about marketing your property, please feel free to contact us. Our individual property websites are created in-house by our very talented web designer Michael Cerny.

Also; our Managing Director Kylie Emans is currently in New York attending the Inman Real Estate Conference so I’m sure we will have hundreds more marketing ideas very shortly!


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Early Christmas Present for Mortgage Holders

Mortgage holders on flexible interest rates and anyone thinking of buying real estate have been given an early Christmas present in the form of 2 interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

It has been a very tough year for property. Floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, 3 new taxes (flood, mining and carbon tax), sovereign debt crises and even a serious US debt limit crisis not yet resolved have hit confidence worldwide. In Australia, consumers have turned to savers and retailers, house builders, inbound tourism and especially manufacturing are all affected.

2012 should see an improved real estate market in NSW. There is pent up demand from population growth and supply of new housing is at record lows. In Spain and Ireland there are millions of empty new houses. We can sell any house if the price is right!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Investing: Real Estate Vs Shares

As we ride the rollar coaster known as the stock market, and we watch our portfolios disappear overnight, it highlights the relative stability of the real estate market.

When panic hits the stock market, people sell VS when panic hits the realestate market, vendors still have to wait. You might pick up the phone to call your agent to see what your property will sell for, but you can’t sell immediately. You need a contract, agency agreement and then you need to market the property to attract a buyer. All this helps to reduce ‘panic selling’. By the time you have photos taken the crises of a share market crash could be ancient history.

Of course, as a real estate agent I will encourage people to put their money into property over shares and at a time like this I am quite happy to say I told you so.

However, as Saturdays auction clearance rate shows all is not rosy in the realestate market. We achieved a 40% clearance rate in the postcodes of 2229 & 2230 on the weekend. The results are misleading though; the 2 properties that sold were top sales. The Sydneywide auction clearance was 57% which is clearly lower than March 2011. Sale results have been sliding since March 2011 but all is not lost. People are still buying and selling and if you are doing both then you have nothing to worry about at all.

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Our Obsession With Real Estate and Renovation TV Shows

What is it with all the TV shows on right now about renovating?! Is it because it is winter and we are all staying home and nesting? Channel  9’s “The Block” is well into its season of renovating in Melbourne and Top Design also started on Channel 9 last week, presented by Jamie Durie, then there is Grand Designs on ABC.

Next week we will have “The Renovators” on Channel 10, 6 nights a week. This is described as a cross between Master Chef and Grand Designs. There will be 26 contestants, ranging from real estate agents, interior design, builders and tradesmen. The show has purchased $3.3mil worth of property in Sydney, from inner city terraces, to a shopfront (I recognise the shopfront – Addison Rd, Marrickville).  I’m pretty sure from the commercials that local real estate agent Kim Gilmore is one of the contestants.

Anyway, I’m not sure what it is, maybe because I am in real estate but I can’t stand watching any of these shows, even though I may as well, because my sister is obsessed and tells me all about every episode every time I see her. If she thinks I am going to join her as a contestant team on The Block one year she can forget it!

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Loading a Moving Van – Top Tips from Movers

When it comes to tips on how to load a moving van who better to ask than professional movers! Sydney probably has more movers than any other city in Australia so we’ve canvassed their opinion to get some top tips on how to load a removals van.

If you’re thinking of doing a DIY moving job then you need all the help you can get so read on for sound advice on loading a van from our professional movers in Sydney.

Use good quality boxes
The first tip from our movers is to use good quality boxes. It’s a mistake to rely on second hand boxes or flimsy ones that you have picked up from a supermarket or found at the tip. You need strong, rigid boxes and these can normally be bought relatively cheaply from movers. Sydney firms will normally be happy to sell you boxes even if you don’t use their moving service.

Plan your loading carefully
Our movers advise that careful preparation is needed for successful loading. This is something that will always be done by professional movers – Sydney removals professionals will carefully plan the process to ensure that space is used as economically as possible and you need to follow suit. Our movers advise that you measure the dimensions of your van first and work from that to assess how best to pack the van.

Get big things on board first
Big items are always put on first by movers. Sydney professionals advise that you should put large objects such as wardrobes, fridges and sofas onto the van early and that these should backed against the end or sides of the van. Our movers also advise that you need to think about what you want to do with large mirrors and paintings as you may want to strap these to the sides of the van.

Fragile items need to be padded and boxed
Our movers advise that items such as a TV and computer need to be surrounded in padded packaging and put in a box. Professional movers would never put items like this directly into the van without pre-packing and neither should you.

Check your van before you load
This is absolutely essential according to our movers, especially when it comes to tyres – something that are always checked before a journey by professional movers. Sydney movers know that there is nothing worse than trying to change a tyre when you have a few tonnes of goods in the back. Our movers also advise a fuel check – simple enough but you will be surprised how many people fail to do that. According to our movers, Sydney has had a few instances of DIY movers breaking down in the middle of nowhere mid-move, so don’t let it happen to you!

About the Author of this article:
Author has been associated with removals in Sydney for a long time. Presently with his vast experience, he is helping people in choosing the best service provider for them for their safe and hassle free move.

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Moving House: A Real Estate Agent’s Perspective

As a real estate agent I witness clients moving house constantly but it has been years between moves for me until last week when I experienced first hand what a relatively stressful event this can be. It started with no power when I arrived because the previous owners had moved out early and disconnected the electricity.
Then this morning when I set the smoke alarm off at 6am and woke the whole street for example, that was one of those “regretting the whole change of address” kind of moments, especially since I couldn’t reach the smoke alarm. As I bake cupcakes as a peace offering to my new neighbors for the rude Monday morning wake up call, I am thinking how better I could have planned my move.

More importantly I am wondering if I have been as understanding as I could have been with my clients. It has made me think about all those times when a client calls in a panic as the perfectly working keys don’t fit the lock, even though they worked perfectly fine the day before settlement. Mmm I think I have been empathetic and helpful but I will be extra supportive from now on!

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